By Mr. Vieira of Falmouth, a petition (accompanied by resolve, House, No. 2015) of David T. Vieira, Sarah K. Peake and Julian Cyr for an investigation by a special commission (including members of the General Court) relative to the incidence and impacts of adverse health impacts from land based wind turbines. Public Health.
Resolved, Resolved, there shall be a special commission to investigate and study the incidence and impacts in the commonwealth of adverse health impacts from land based wind turbines.
The commission shall consist of 19 members: 1 member of the senate appointed by the senate president, 1 member of the senate appointed by the senate minority leader; 1 member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, 1 member of the house of representatives appointed by the house minority leader; the commissioner of the department of public health or a designee; the commissioner of the division of health care finance and policy or a designee; the director of the state laboratory institute or a designee; the state epidemiologist or a designee; 8 members appointed by the governor as follows: one shall be a physician who has written a peer-reviewed journal article in an internationally recognized journal on the effects of industrial land based wind turbines on sleep and health; one shall be a NIH researcher with a PhD specializing in the field of otolaryngology; two who are physicians considered experts in the treatment or research of adverse health impacts of land based wind turbines; two members of local boards of health from different regions of the commonwealth where industrial land based wind turbines are sited and complaints of adverse health impacts have been registered with local officials in those communities; one member of the executive committee from the wind energy advocacy organization Wind Wise-Massachusetts; one member of the board from the wind energy advocacy organization Wind Wise – Cape Cod; and 3 members of the public who live within 5,000 feet of an operating land based wind turbine and who have registered health-related complaints with his or her local officials, one of each to be appointed by the regional planning agencies of Barnstable, Berkshire and southeastern Massachusetts.
Said study shall include, but not be limited to, a cost-benefit analysis of:
(i) conducting a land based wind turbine adverse health impacts public health clinical screening study in high risk regions;
(ii) developing educational materials and training resources for detecting signs and symptoms of adverse health impacts and illnesses in at risk populations including school-aged populations, to be used by clinical providers and school health personnel;
(iii) statewide surveillance and testing for adverse health impacts in the proximity of land based wind turbines, and
(iv) educating the medical community about research on all aspects of adverse health impacts of land based wind turbines, both acute and chronic.
The commission shall also investigate the availability of grants and federal funds for the study of adverse health impacts from land based wind turbines to determine if future action is feasible and warranted to support adverse health impacts from land based wind turbines research in the commonwealth.
Said commission shall report to the senate and house of representatives the results of its investigation and study, together with drafts of legislation, if any, necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, who shall forward the same to the joint committee on public health and the house and senate committees on ways and means one year after the passage of this resolve.
More Information on Resolve H.2015: The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Reports of contaminated wells and turbid drinking water that came with the construction and operations of wind facilities have not been investigated for alleged health hazards. Multiple case histories hanging in limbo crying out for immediate action such as the ones made known in the K2 and Niagara Wind projects.
Chatham Daily News|June 5, 2019|by: Ellwood Shreve
Pressure applied at Queen’s Park for C-K water wells probe
Mitchell’s Bay-area resident and cancer survivor Marilynn St. Pierre travelled to Queen’s Park Wednesday to ask the Doug Ford Progressive Conservative government to honour a promise to look into water problems in the north area of Chatham-Kent.
“My water supply is horribly polluted with black shale,” St. Pierre said. “Premier Ford knows this. In fact, Mr. Ford took decisive action to solve this problem.”
The citizens group Water Wells First began raising concerns three years ago about the potential impact the construction and operation of the North Kent Wind farm would have on water wells because of the Kettle Point black shale geology and shallow aquifer in the area.
Since that time, several property owners experienced well water problems, including significant amounts of sediments that have clogged up the flow of water during construction and after operation of the wind farm began. The group says this particular shale is known to contain metals such as uranium, arsenic and lead that are harmful to human health.
But the developers of the wind farm – Korean industrial giant Samsung and its American partner Pattern Energy- have stated the wind farm has had no impact on area water wells. This claim was supported by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change under the previous Liberal government.
St Pierre, a cancer survivor, said Ford committed to undertake a health hazard investigation into this problem in Chatham-Kent.
“I am fearful that cancer will return if the health hazard investigation isn’t done soon and we don’t get the answers we need,” she said.
Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak pressed Minister of Infrastructure Monte McNaughton to provide answers over the ongoing well water concerns in McNaughton’s riding, during question period at Queen’s Park on Wednesday.
Natyshak reminded McNaughton that Ford promised those affected “by this contamination” that he would conduct a health hazard investigation immediately.
Noting, “immediately has come and gone,” and more than a year later, people are still waiting for this investigation, the MPP called on McNaughton to make good on this promise “to ensure these Ontarians have clean and safe drinking water.”
McNaughton responded the government has been working hard on this issue and there will be more to say.
Then he took aim at Natyshak, calling it “ironic” that the Essex MPP and the NDP voted in favour ofthe Samsung agreement to allow the wind farm to be built in Chatham-Kent.
“We were left with this mess. We are going to clean it up. They caused this problem. We’ll take no advice from that member opposite,” McNaughton said.
Natyshak said in an interview that McNaughton “dodged the question and went straight to the rhetoric book they rely on when they don’t have a straight-up answer for people who are concerned about issues in their communities.”
He said McNaughton knows this issue well so “for him not to be prepared to give us any hope or any inkling that his ministry and himself actually have a plan on this is quite disappointing to the folks who made the trip up to Toronto (Wednesday).”
When asked in an interview if there will be health hazard investigation, McNaughton said, “Absolutely.”
When asked if it would be done within the year, he said, “We’ll be making it public very soon what process has been going on for the past 10 months and what will happen in the future.
The minister also stated: “I want to be clear that we’ve been taking these concerns very seriously.”
McNaughton said the government’s first step was to cancel the Otter Creek Wind project, slated for to be built north of Wallaceburg on the same Kettle Point black shale.
“We didn’t want to make the situation any worse,” he said, adding the government also scrapped the Green Energy Act, resulting in the cancellations of 758 wind and solar contracts.
Joel Gagnon, head of the heavy metals lab at the University of Windsor’s Great Lakes Institute of Environmental Research, said he was asked to get involved about a year ago.
“The purpose of the investigation is to look at research questions that we can address within the confines and within the mandate of a university,” he said.
Having found residents in the area had in excess of 100 years of good quality water, he said the problems experienced with the water wells were predicted with the construction of the wind farm.
“There’s good scientific evidence to link turbine installation and operation to groundwater impacts,” Gagnon said.
He said the impacts on water quality are quite diverse.
“We’re looking at excessive amounts of suspended sediment comprising Kettle Point black shale,” Gagnon said.
He added there is excessive biomass production which leads to foul smelling and tasting water, along with excessive gas production, which contains radon.
Collectively, Gagnon said people are being exposed to dermal, ingestion and inhalation hazards for a cocktail of what could potentially be toxic metals as well as radon gas.
“The health risks here are undefined and unconstrained and need to be looked at,” he said.
Kevin Jakubec, a founder of the Water Wells First group, who was also at Queen’s Park Wednesday, said, “Patience with Premier Ford delivering and making good on his promise of an investigation is now completely exasperated.
“To date, no experts or resources have been brought into Chatham-Kent to deal with the water problem by the Ford government.”
When asked if the Ministry of Health has had people on site, McNaughton said: “We’ll be providing an update very, very soon.”
Jakubec points to a 2016 joint report from Cancer Care Ontario and Public Health Ontario that said Ontarians are getting cancer each year from environmental carcinogen exposures.
“The report specifically acknowledged the heavy metal arsenic,” he said. “Arsenic causes a cancer burden on Ontario’s beleaguered health-care system each year.”
Over a year and counting …….
“This a serious issue here and I give you my word, we’re going to address it. I can’t stand wind turbines; I can’t stand how they are destroying areas and communities and I’m going to do everything I can to halt any other wind turbine farms and I’m going to address the ones that are going in. You have a huge supporter here,” Ford said to Jakubec after hearing his questions. “As for the local MPPs, when you aren’t in power, your hands are certainly tied. When we are in power June 7, we’re going to address it. It will be my number one issue. And what I say I’m going to do, I do. No one has been more vocal about these wind farms than Doug Ford – no one. I’m giving you my word.”
Doug Ford (now Ontario’s Elected Premiere) , April 26, 2018
New signs by the Lowbanks Wind Warrior of Haldimand County
Trekking on vacation and traveling the message
The Ontario government promised to repeal the Green Energy Act which permits renewable energy projects but that promised has failed to halt Nation Rise Wind. The project was appealed at the Environmental Review Tribunal and remains strongly opposed by concerned citizens. The project developers are giving a time line of June 2019 to break ground for construction even as the project remains under Ministerial appeal.
National Valley News|May 17, 2019
BERWICK — The 30-megawatt Nation Rise wind project is set to break ground on turbine foundations next month in the rural countryside here — right around the same time the Doug Ford Conservatives celebrate one year since their election on a platform staunchly opposed to such initiatives under the previous Liberal regime’s Green Energy Act.
Ken Little of EDP Renewables, associate director with EDP Renewables Canada — the company that is (now) minority stakeholder and developer of the 28 to 33 turbine project — apprised North Stormont council of the ironic construction timeline in a presentation this week.
Little said that site-clearing and preparation will continue through the end of May with a possible start on an access road into a planned electrical substation by then as well. Construction on the actual turbine foundations and the substation, west of Crysler, will begin in June, he reported to a packed Council Chambers, where a large number of the public overflowed available seating into the hallway outside the room. The developer sees the turbines in place and sending power into the grid by December.
“We did have the ability to start construction in limited fashion for May 9th,” Little explained, clarifying this month’s activities have so far involved “people … more or less identifying areas for work to begin.” But with geotechnical approval received this week, “we’ll be moving into more fulsome construction in the next one to three weeks, in terms of starting access roads” and crew facilities, he added.
Though it has “a lot of approvals to go forward now from the Ministry of Environment,” Little conceded the company still awaits some local and South Nation Conservation permits before installing “individual and specific components” of the wind farm. “So while we may have some approvals, if there’s other local permits that we need to have required for that, we will seek to have those permits prior to starting construction, obviously to make sure we’re in compliance with any local regulations on that,” he pledged.
No mention was made of the project opponents’ last-ditch appeal to Ontario’s Minister of Energy to quash the project, whose ruling had yet to be received on the evening of the May 14 council meeting. The Ford government to date has killed more than 750 pending Green Energy Act projects signed by the previous Wynne Liberals.
Little was accompanied at the podium by EDPR’s Tom LoTurco, director of development for the Eastern US and Canada. A couple more of their company colleagues also watched from the sidelines.
See their presentation on the construction schedule, followed by council questions below
“You gave us hope; we gave you a majority government. Then the change came; the promises were forgotten.”
May 8, 2019|National Valley News
Letter to The Editor:
This is an open letter to Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and to Greg Rickford, Minister of the Environment.
Rod, we the citizens of North Stormont and all those already impacted by industrial wind turbines, know that you and Greg were informed of the facts, as were all other Ontario MPP’s. We know this because every MPP was given a DVD done by Dave Hemingway, of Goderich, a follow up to the TVO documentary Big Wind.
Your DVD, if you chose to watch it showed honest, hard-working, tax-paying people explain — as they drove through their area on a school bus — how their health, water, sight, mental health, income were all negatively impacted by industrial wind turbines.
Under the McGuinty and Wynne governments thousands of documented reports were filed, with file numbers, describing negative experience and all were ignored.
In 2014 EDP Renewables of Portugal, Spain came into North Stormont, southeast of Ottawa. Landowners were offered thousands of dollars a year to sign land leases. Like so many others the landowners that chose to sign contracts only saw dollar signs. They did not consider the impact on their family members, their children, their neighbours, the animals, the water; simply dollar signs.
Since the beginning the municipal council and residents have repeatedly said the project was not wanted. The people learned about infrasound, low frequency vibration, shadow flicker and flashing lights. They petitioned, voted twice to be non-willing hosts, talked/wrote/faxed multiple MPP’s of all political stripes. All to no avail under the previous government’s Green Energy Act.
During this time the number of industrial wind turbine health-related reports throughout Ontario continued to increase. Fresh well-water sources were contaminated and destroyed; you both know of this as I personally handed you the proof. Wind Concerns Ontario filed legal charges against the minister responsible for so much suffering. You both know, nothing was done.
The people of North Stormont saw the rushed, irresponsible approval of the Nation Rise Wind project (I will not call it a “farm”) pushed through during the caretaker period of parliament. It was done, like the others, without a cost analysis or proof that the power was required.
The approval came with 60 pages of conditions. The proponent had not included any potential environmental impact information as required; no mention of highly vulnerable aquifers, West Quebec Seismic Fault, leda clay, bird migratory path but it did include gas wells that North Stormont does not have. Why wasn’t the project cancelled on this alone?
An appeal was immediately filed with all residents involved knowing there was no chance of winning. Under the Green Energy Act, as you know, the residents must provide irrefutable proof that damage will occur and, we all know too, that is an impossible task.
The people of North Stormont did this to postpone the project start until after the June, 2018 election. We were thrilled to hear Doug Ford repeat over and over, “Help is on the way.” He said to me personally, “Turbines are done.”
We knew the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PCPO) had opposed industrial wind turbines since 2012 when Lisa Thompson introduced her private member’s bill asking for a moratorium on all industrial wind projects until the root cause of the health and water concerns was determined.
The PCPO’s strong opposition continued throughout the Wynne years and finalized in the loss of Liberal party status in the June 2018 election.
The people of North Stormont believed Doug and his party as well as so many others in rural Ontario. You gave us hope; we gave you a majority government. Then the change came; the promises were forgotten.
People cried at Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker’s constituency meeting. Even after Doug’s written promise of a Health Hazard Study into the Chatham-Kent contaminated water issue during the election, nothing was done. It gets worse; local word is that the municipal, provincial and federal governments are going to pay — with taxpayer dollars — to install piped water from Lake Erie under the guise of increased infra structure, totally ignoring the destruction done to fresh well water source.
Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry with Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, introduced ERO 013-4265 — as you know — which grandfathered “existing and in process renewable energy projects” under the old Green Energy Act just two days before a small group of Jim’s constituents met with you and your assistants.
Then came the first PCPO budget where you embedded Section 17 in Bill 100 which, depending on whose interpretation, reads that no one can challenge the actions of the government retroactively.
What has happened? Where are all those MPP’s who promised to stand up for the people: Monte McNaughton, Sam Oosterhoff, Sylvia Jones, Toby Barrett, Rick Nicholls, Lisa Thompson, Jim McDonell, Bill Walker etc.?
Christine Elliott sat in Shawn and Trish Drennan’s house for hours and learned firsthand of their horrific experience with the K2 project and the formation of Lake K2 (also given to you). The Drennans are now sleeping in their basement trying to avoid infrasound.
Christine Elliott, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health has now put forth “mental health” legislation. How would this legislation help the Drennans and the thousands of others; walking away from one’s home is not easily done?
Amherst Island wind project was pushed through ignoring most, if not all, of the contract guidelines. Complaints by residents are being filed but …
Rod, before any final decision is made on the Nation Rise Wind project, I would like to remind you, again, in Ontario peoples’ lives young and old, physically and mentally have been destroyed, agricultural animals impacted, fresh groundwater sources contaminated/destroyed and for what? intermittent, unreliable, costly wind power that only increased Ontario’s debt exponentially.
Remember too the people of Ontario already impacted by industrial wind turbines support the people of North Stormont in their hope of the cancellation of Nation Rise. People from around the province signed our last petition. Calls and monetary donations have been given.
We are supported by so many except, it appears, the decision makers. I will quote what Monte McNaughton said during Lisa Thompson’s Private Member’s Bill of 2012:
Monte McNaughton, (at 1510)
I oppose the heavy-handed approach that the Dalton McGuinty government is taking by forcing these wind turbines on rural Ontario. This approach is not democratic and it’s not productive. I’ve said it before, but truly, the greatest injustice facing rural Ontario today is that Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal government sit here, in Toronto, at Queen’s Park, and dictate to rural communities where and when they must install industrial wind turbines.
Has anything changed?
It appears as if the only “group” that does recognize the inherent damage of a wind project but is choosing to not act politically is the present government, the same government that campaigned on “Help is on the way.” “Reviewing all existing contracts line-by-line and cancelling all those in non-compliance.” Addressing the thousands of documented reports, ensuring Ontario’s ground water will be protected.
Rod, your Ministry wrote and published Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-In-Ontario Plan. I quoted from it when we met Dec. 5, 2018.
Is your Ministry along with the PCPO MPP’s willing to agree to the highly probable destruction of another Ontario well water source supplying fresh water to the majority of Eastern Ontario, knowing that three wells turned cloudy after simple bore hole sampling was done by EDP? What will it cost the government to bring “piped” water to the majority of Eastern Ontario? Is the present government “playing the odds” on the lives and water of Eastern Ontario?
The residents and Municipal Council of North Stormont, those already forced to live with industrial wind turbines and so many others as well as myself and my family ask you to please put the people you promised to help and the fresh well water sources FIRST. “Promise made. Promise kept.”
You have been informed by myself, family, friends and other citizens of Ontario. As such this letter is “on notice” that the continued development of the Nation Rise Wind project is considered negligent, harmful and in bad faith.
Please put an immediate moratorium on the Nation Rise Wind project until the health and water issues across Ontario can be addressed.
Wind turbines have sensitized a number of rural folk to health problems arising from electricity generation and it’s associated infrastructure. Reports are increasing of individuals newly diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity after wind turbines and associated infrastructure (eg- transmission lines, substations, etc) were built adjacent to their homes.
Woman’s College Hospital runs a multidisciplinary Environmental Health Clinic which is one of a kind in Ontario. The clinic provides leading edge access to clinical care and diagnosis for people with chronic complex environmentally-linked conditions such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM) and Environmental Sensitivities, including both Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (ES/MCS) and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.
Rally is being rescheduled for a later date. Conference will proceed as planned.
May 31/19 ~8:00AM-4:30PM~ Women’s College Hospital, Burton Auditorium~ Toronto
Hosted by Woman’s College Environmental Health Clinic the event includes 13 speakers on topics ranging from IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) implications, health impacts and epidemiological evidence of EMF exposures, home assessments, legal issues, impacts on students and teachers, advocacy and next steps.
Register at: Impacts of Wireless Technology on Health
($100 registration fee)
The Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) has apologised to communities across Ireland who have been negatively impacted by the development of wind farms – via its members – in their localities.
The association’s head of communications and public affairs Justin Moran also confirmed that a new focus on community and public engagement would ensure that relations between residents and developers will improve “going forward” as wind energy gets set to step up a gear in this country.
Moran’s comments come in the aftermath of the publication of a series of articles by AgriLand in which community groups from Donegal to Kerry laid bare the difficulties both they and the local environment now face as a direct result of wind farm developments in their area.
He also pointed out that the latest phase of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) – which the organisation anticipates will be up and running early next year – will place an obligation on all wind farm developers to offer an investment opportunity to people in the community.
IWEA, meanwhile, is a trade association that represents companies involved in the planning and development of wind farms in Ireland. It represents all the big players in the industry including Brookfield, Coillte, Bord na Móna, ESB and SSE.
Speaking about the fallout between developers and communities Moran said there was “an acceptance” in the industry that the way in which member companies engaged with communities in the past “was not the way”.
There would be an acceptance in the industry that the way in which we engaged with communities in the past – and the way we have engaged with communities – is not the way to be doing it.
He continued: “Wind farm developers need to realise that the people who live in these areas have been there long before they arrived.”
Moran went on to say that it was public knowledge now that situations have arisen in rural Ireland where, when locals tried to explain to developers why they simply could not place a wind turbine in a particular area or on a specific piece of land, communication subsequently broke down.
“We need to listen to what local people are saying to us. We all know there are cases where developers came in and locals were able to tell them that they would not be able to put a wind turbine in such and such a location for whatever civic or environmental reason it was,” he added.
Developers very often don’t know these things and the feedback from the community is very, very important in all of this.
“Engaging with the community and sharing knowledge will result in a more effective project for everybody concerned.
“Information that is given in an open, transparent, accessible and a factually correct way is the way forward and results in a better experience for everyone.
“We need to be more conscious of doing that.”
In some cases, renewable energy can have profoundly harmful environmental effects if not managed correctly, writes Noel Wauchope.
AUSTRALIA’S LYNAS CORPORATION is currently under the business and political spotlight. The current controversy over Lynas rare earth elements company is a wake-up call to an area of vulnerability in renewable technologies – the radioactive pollution produced by developing the rare earth elements essential for today’s hi-tech devices. Electric cars, batteries, energy efficient lighting, smartphones, solar panels, wind turbines and so on all need some of the 17 mineral elements classed as rare earth. The mining and processing of this produces radioactive trash.
Environmentalists, in their enthusiasm for renewable energy, seem unaware of this fact, while they rightly condemn coal and nuclear power, for their toxic by-products.
Australia’s Lynas Corporation has two major rare earth facilities — mining at Mount Weld, Western Australia, and processing at Kuantan, Malaysia. For years, there’s been a smouldering controversy going on in Malaysia, over the radioactive wastes produced by the refining facility at Kuantan.
Now, this has come to a head. On 17th April, the Malaysian Government insisted that Lynas Corp must remove more than 450,000 tonnes of radioactive waste from the country, for its licence to be renewed in September.